Rohan Bopanna is an Indian tennis player who has carried forward the torch of doubles excellence from his compatriots Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
Just like the legendary Paes and Bhupathi, Bopanna is also a Grand Slam champion. But in addition to that, he has also been a consistent performer on the ATP tour, winning multiple Masters 1000 events with different partners.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams - singles:
Australian Open: Qualifying 2nd Round (2006, 2007, 2008)
French Open: Qualifying 1st Round (2006)
Wimbledon: Qualifying 2nd Round (2006)
US Open: Qualifying 2nd Round (2007)
Highest Ranking: No. 213
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams - doubles:
Australian Open: 3rd Round (2008, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)
French Open: Quarterfinalist (2011, 2016, 2018)
Wimbledon: Semifinalist (2013, 2015)
US Open: Runner-up (2010)
Highest Ranking: No. 3
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams - mixeddoubles:
Australian Open: Runner-up (2018)
French Open: Champion (2017)
Wimbledon: Quarterfinalist (2013, 2017)
US Open: Quarterfinalist (2014, 2016)
Style of play
Bopanna is an aggressive player who likes to take the ball out of the air whenever he gets the chance. He has a serve-oriented game; he uses his big first serve to set up a majority of points.
Bopanna's net-rushing game is suited to fast courts. While he can defend from the back of the court, he prefers to plant himself at the net and volley whatever comes his way.
The Indian has a one-handed backhand which he can hit both flat and with spin. His forehand is much heavier, with a considerable amount of topspin and bounce.
Strengths and weaknesses
Bopanna's serve is one of the most important weapons in his arsenal. It is quick and flat, and can push the opponent on the backfoot with regularity. He also goes for big second serves, because of which he both wins free points and loses them (through double faults).
Bopanna is remarkably proficient at the net, and uses his sharp reflexes very well to effectively deal with passing shots. His touch and agility at the net make him a useful doubles ally in any format, as proven by his success across both doubles and mixed doubles. He has a good overhead too, and is not an easy player to lob.
The Indian has powerful groundstrokes off both wings, but hasn't always been very consistent with them. He can make a few errors when engaged in long rallies from the back of the court, which explains his relative lack of success on slower courts in his early days. However, over time he has improved his defensive capabilities, and is now fairly comfortable on clay too.
Bopanna was born in Bangalore, and started playing tennis at the relatively advanced age of 11. He used to play hockey and football as a kid too, but his father MG Bopanna wanted his son to focus on an individual sport.
Having idolized Stefan Edberg since he was a kid, Bopanna's biggest dream has always been to win Wimbledon some day. His wife's name is Supriya, whom he married in November 2012.
The Indian has played doubles with many players, but two of his most memorable partnerships have been with Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Mahesh Bhupathi. When Bopanna and Qureshi first started playing together in 2007, they garnered a lot of attention as they were citizens of staunch political rivals - India and Pakistan. Nicknamed the 'Indo-Pak Express', Bopanna and Qureshi earned a lot of praise for trying to break down barriers between the two countries with their on-court camaraderie.
With Bhupathi, Bopanna achieved plenty of success in ATP tour-level events. Ahead of the 2012 Olympics, their partnership became a huge talking point as Bopanna refused to partner Leander Paes and insisted on playing with Bhupathi instead. After weeks of controversy, India's national tennis organization decided to send two different teams to the Olympics - Bopanna with Bhupathi, and Paes with Vishnu Vardhan.
At the 2016 Olympics Bopanna played mixed doubles with Sania Mirza. The duo fell just short of a medal as they lost in the semifinals and subsequently in the bronze medal playoff match.
A year later, however, Bopanna got his moment of glory as he won his first Grand Slam title at the French Open. Partnering Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada, he defeated Anna-Lena Gronefeld and Robert Farah in the final at Roland Garros.
Bopanna has set up a tennis academy in Bangalore called the Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy, where young tennis players are provided coaching and infrastructure to fine-tune their game.